Drivers falsified logbooks for hours worked

A transport company and two of its drivers were fined in the Invercargill District Court yesterday for various driving and logbook charges.

Kapuka Transport Ltd and drivers Matthew William Crosbie, 25, and Shaun Anthony McDowall, 28, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips yesterday.

Kapuka Transport admitted 18 charges. Five charges were for allowing a vehicle to be used by a person when the logbook had false recorded finish times; eleven charges were for instructing a driver to work which directly caused a driver to exceed the maximum work time; and three charges were for allowing a vehicle to be used by a person when a logbook of that vehicle had no record of activities on specific dates.

Crosbie faced three charges; one for exceeding 13 hours of work time by less than 60 minutes in a cumulative work day; one for making a false statement in a logbook, namely a false start time; and producing a logbook that had false finish times.

McDowall also faced three charges: one for being the driver of a vehicle subject to work time restrictions and rest time requirements who exceeded 70 hours of work time in a cumulative work period by more than two hours; one for producing a logbook that omitted to state the start place, registration, hub reading or finish time; and one for producing a logbook that had false finish times.

Two other drivers from the same company were also charged with similar offences and dealt with in the Invercargill District Court earlier this month.

The company was fined $200 on each charge ($3600). Crosbie and McDowall were each fined $300 on each charge and disqualified from driving for two months.

The court heard Kapuka Transport Ltd was annoyed and upset about what had happened and the manager at the time of the offending was no longer with the company.

Judge Phillips said a strong message had to be sent out for such organised deceit and it would not be tolerated.

"It's alarming that you had been doing this intentionally," he told the two drivers.

The system had been put in place to ensure road safety and to ensure drivers would not fall asleep while driving, he said.

Kapuka Transport had since taken steps to make sure the offending would not happen again, the judge said.

The Southland Times